I would like to take some time to talk about Injunctions in Florida and an introduction into what everyone should know. Some people may go through life and never have to understand Injunctions. Most of us, though, will either want to file for our own Injunction, defend against an injunction or know someone who is either filing for, or defending against, an Injunction.
There are five types of Injunctions for Protection:
–Domestic Violence. The specific details involving this type of Injunction are found in F.S. 741.28-F.S. 741.31. To summarize, this type of Injunction protects individuals from Domestic Violence that either has occurred or that the Petitioner (person filing) reasonably believes will occur.
–Repeat Violence. The specific details involving this type of Injunction are found in F.S. 784.046. To summarize, this type of Injunction protects individuals from other individual and violence that does not fall within the definition of domestic violence. There are two acts of violence required with one occurring within the six months preceding the Petition.
–Stalking Violence. The specific details involving this type of Injunction are found in F.S. 784.048. To summarize, this type of Injunction protects individuals from someone who is either following or harassing you repeatedly over a short period of time. This action causes the Petitioner emotional distress and puts the Petition in reasonable fear..;
–Sexual Violence. The specific details involving this type of Injunction are found in F.S. 784.046. To summarize, this type of injunction protects individuals from either sexual violence that has been reported to law enforcement or sexual violence where the Respondent (offender) has been sentenced to prison and is set for release in the 90 days following the Petition. The Statute further requires the sexual violence to fall within 5 categories of crimes.
–Dating Violence. The specific details involving this type of Injunction are found in F.S. 784.046. To summarize, this type of Injunction protects individuals from either becoming the victim of violence or stalking, or has been the victim of stalking or violence, at the hands of someone they have been dating for six months or more, have an expectation of affection or sexual involvement, and excludes ordinary business relationships or fraternization.
I would encourage each of you to either read the statutes I have discussed above or contact my office for more information. Many of the statutes discussed above involve definitions found in other areas of the statutes. They also contain passages that are difficult to define and case law may have addressed those passages.
I would also like to give you a brief introduction into what will happen when a Petitioner files for an Injunction. First the Petitioner will go to the courthouse in their area to file. Once they file, the Petition will be reviewed by a Judge (often on the same day). The Judge will do one of three things: (1) Issue a Temporary Injunction with a court date to follow to allow the Respondent to address the Petition (2) deny a Temporary Injunction but issue a court date to allow both the Petitioner and Respondent to present facts to the court or (3) deny a Temporary injunction and not set a court date.
Injunctions are civil and do not create a criminal record. However if a person violates an Injunction, then the violation is considered criminal. It is also important to note that Injunctions have very important consequences, regardless of allegations of a violation. Some of these consequence are Customs and Immigration problems in terms of entering the country once you leave on vacation, gun ownership and gun possession or employment problems. This is not an exhaustive list. The point is that is important to have legal representation regardless of whether you are a Petitioner or Respondent. The statutes and process can be confusing for most and there are significant collateral consequences everyone needs to know about. For more information about this topic and to discuss your case contact me anytime and I can help.